[Journal:] Internet Policy Review [ISSN:] 2197-6775 [Publisher:] Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society [Place:] Berlin [Volume:] 5 [Year:] 2016 [Issue:] 3 [Pages:] 1-21
This essay proposes an analytical approach that conceptualises internet policy as a field of struggle which emerges through processes of discursive institutionalisation. By combining field theory and selected Science and Technology Studies (STS) concepts, the essay highlights the performative function of discourses in the field. It does so by showing how actors entered the policy field through the creation of expertise and regulatory competences and uncovers key conflicts that have shaped internet policy. Drawing on interviews and document analysis, the essay illustrates the proposed research approach via three selected examples which demonstrate how international discourses materialised in internet-related organisational structures and regulatory competences in German ministries.
Internet policy Policy field Discourse Institutionalisation
The theoretical reflections and empirical findings presented in this essay emerged from the collective work of the Internet policy project group of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. Therefore, the authors would like to highlight the contributions of Benjamin Bergemann, Jeanette Hofmann, Florian Irgmaier and Lena Ulbricht.